Cronyn Observatory Open House, Saturday, September 1st, 2012

A hazy cloudy sky greeted visitors to the Cronyn Observatory Open House, Saturday, September 1st, 8:30 p.m. Undergraduate student Neil Bhatt made his digital slide presentation, “The Solar System,” before 17 people at 8:45 p.m. There were 32 visitors to the Cronyn by the end of the evening.

Graduate student Emily McCullough showed visitors the communications tower in south London through the big 25.4cm refractor, using the 32mm Erfle eyepiece (137X). She later redirected the big refractor towards the one-day-past-full Moon, rising in the east through hazy clouds.

RASC London Centre members present included Everett Clark, Bob Duff, Richard Gibbens and Peter Jedicke. On the roof patio Everett Clark and Peter Jedicke directed the London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian and the Observatory’s 20.3cm (8-inch) Meade LX-3 Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes towards the Moon. Bob Duff later showed some visitors the star Vega in the Dobsonian, through hazy clouds overhead. Richard Gibbens listened to the slide presentation in the lecture room.

Visibility improved somewhat late in the evening and Peter Jedicke and Bob Duff tried to identify features on the Moon through the Schmidt-Cassegrain, using the lunar map in the Starry Night PRO sky charting software on the computer in the dome.

The Observatory was closed down shortly after 11:00 p.m. when all the visitors had left. It was an enjoyable evening of astronomy discussion with visitors and some observing despite the hazy cloudy sky.

Bob Duff
Higher Education Liaison
RASC London Centre